Special Education

In Michigan, programs and services are available for identified handicapped students from birth to age 26. Special Education provides specifically designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet unique educational needs of students who are found eligible under one of the areas of disability recognized under The Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education. Programs and services include classroom instruction, consultation, ancillary support, and adaptive supplies and materials designed to meet the identified educational goals of students.

Zeeland Public Schools offers a full continuum of services to identified students. A vast majority of students receive educational support in their home school with assistance from a special education teacher, teacher consultant, or other ancillary service provider. There are special education services available at all school buildings in our district. Students who require more support than is available at their neighborhood school may attend a program classroom at designated schools within the district or at our regional center programs, Ottawa Area Center, or Sheldon Pines School. All placement and programming decisions are made at the Individual Education Planning meeting.

Zeeland Public Schools is committed to providing quality programs for students that are designed to meet their individual needs.   The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to provide all students with an environment conducive to the development of their learning potential. District policies and school handbooks have rules and regulations which are necessary to govern the conduct of students under the supervision of school personnel. All rules and regulations are published in appropriate building student handbooks

Each local educational agency and public school academy in Michigan is required to publicly post the process used to determine the existence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD).

Consistent with this requirement, Zeeland Public Schools reports the following:
For grades kindergarten through 5th grade, in the area of Basic Reading, Zeeland Public Schools is beginning the implementation of a Response to Scientific, Research-Based Intervention process for literacy intervention.

For determination of a SLD, a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) process is used for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for the skill area of Basic Reading. This process is also used across all other areas of SLD, kindergarten through 12th grade, which includes: Oral Expression, Listening Comprehension, Written Expression, Reading Comprehension, Reading Fluency, Math Calculation, and Math Problem Solving.

It is noted that regardless of the process used, all schools must follow all of the regulatory requirements in the IDEA and Michigan laws, policies and procedures for special education.

What is a SLD?

A Specific Learning Disability is “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. A SLD does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” (34 CFR §300.8(c)(10)).

What is Response to Scientific, Research-Based Intervention Process?

Response to Scientific, Research-Based Intervention is a process to determine if a student has a SLD. This process involves the collection of data to determine the following:

  • The student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or to meet State approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR §300.309(a)(1)(i) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or State-approved grade-level standards.
  • The student does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR §300.309(a)(1)(i) when using a process based on the student’s response to scientific, research-based intervention.

What is a PSW Process?

Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses is a process that is used to determine if a student has a SLD. This process involves the collection of data to determine the following:

  • The student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or to meet State approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR §300.309(a)(1)(i) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or State-approved grade-level standards.
  • The student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the Multi-disciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) to be relevant to the identification of a SLD, using appropriate assessments, consistent with the IDEA Evaluation Procedures and Additional Requirements for Evaluations and Reevaluations.

Source: Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services (2010). Michigan criteria for determining the existence of a specific learning disability. Lansing, MI

Additional Resources:

Ottawa Area ISD Special Education:
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/

ZPS Special Education Blog:
http://zpsspecialeducation.blogspot.com/?zx=aeb6b6325578bd61

Special Education Forms:

Evaluation and Redetermination:
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/

Temporary Placements and Transfers:
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/specialeducationproceduresrequirements/section2temporaryplacementstransfers/

IEP Related
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/specialeducationproceduresrequirements/section3iep/

Revocation of Consent
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/specialeducationproceduresrequirements/section4revocation/

Procedural Safeguards, Community Agency, Misc.
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/specialeducationproceduresrequirements/section12appendix/

State Assessment

MEAP Related
http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-22709_31168—,00.html

MEAP-Access Related
http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-22709_52674—,00.html

MME Related
http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-22709_35150—,00.html

 

Parent Resources:

Special Education Parent Advisory Committee:
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/parentresources/pac/

Project Find Parent Resource:
http://www.oaisd.org/oaisd/departments/specialneedseducation/parentresources/